Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 20:21 UK

CO2 storage plan 'a step closer'

Drax power station
The region is home to some of the country's largest power plants

A scheme to store millions of tonnes of industrial carbon could forge ahead despite a lack of government backing, a regional development agency has said.

Liquefied carbon dioxide would be pumped into depleted gas fields where impervious rock would stop it escaping.

Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which is behind the 2bn plan, said it would take 20 years to develop, but would create hundreds of jobs.

The agency has said foreign investors have shown interest in the plan.

The scheme aims to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere across Yorkshire by up to 60% by the middle of the century.

Gases captured

Carbon dioxide emissions, captured from power stations and heavy industry along industrial sites stretching towards the Humber estuary, would be captured and liquefied under pressure and pumped through a pipe line to be stored under the North Sea in empty gas fields off the Yorkshire coast.

Mike Smith of the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward said: "This project is critical to the region. We can slash carbon emissions for the region and the country significantly.

"We can earn for this region 3bn through trading in carbon. We can generate 55,000 jobs through the construction phase.

"This is a critical project for Yorkshire and the Humber."

Mr Smith said the lack of government backing for the scheme so far was disappointing for the agency.

"But, the opportunity still exists - if the government would like to secure a global lead in carbon capture, if the government would like to steer the world towards low carbon economy, then Yorkshire and Humber is without doubt the place to do that."

And he said the project could still go ahead as interest was being expressed by foreign investors.

"We have had a number of foreign countries who have approached us and said they would like to invest in this partnership.

"So whatever happens there are people and countries and organisations that will move forward on carbon capture in Yorkshire and the Humber region.

"We do hope that the government will be part of that process."

Could carbon capture replace cuts?
23 Jan 08 |  Business

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